Histamine is a neurotransmitter that’s involved in allergic and inflammatory reactions. The gut contains an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) that detoxifies food borne histamine and prevents it from being absorbed.
Histamine intolerance results when histamine exposure exceeds the body’s capacity to detoxify it. Excess histamine exposure results in allergic and inflammatory reactions.
If the DAO enzyme doesn’t do its job properly, exposure to relatively small amounts of histamine is enough to increase blood levels and cause symptoms.
Several studies have that some people with eczema, dermatitis, acne and other skin problems have higher than normal histamine levels and that treatments that reduce histamine can also improve such skin conditions.
The most effective treatment is to supplement with vitamin C and go on a low histamine diet for 2 to 4 weeks. This leads to a drastic reduction in histamine levels, and, in some people, allows DAO activity to recover enough to block histamine from being absorbed from the gut.
OTC antihistamines (Claritin) can be used as an additional treatment to reduce symptoms on days when you can’t avoid histamine-rich foods.
Problems in the gut and the balance of bacteria living there are known to affect DAO activity. If you have gut problems, it’s better to first go through the gut health protocol before treating histamine intolerance.